Reading 4 King's Lynn 2
5th December 1959
BAD LUCK, Lynn. You deserved at worst a replay from your first visit to Elm Park, Reading for this F.A. Cup second round tie on Saturday. And had there been a replay the odds would have favoured you to win through to the third round, taking Saturday's form as the guide.
Of all the inquests held on the game afterwards those on which Lynn supporters were the juries
must surely have unanimously arrived at the conclusion that Lynn's exit from the cup, was purely accidental. Certainly the many who had favoured Lynn to win or draw were not no very far from the mark even if the scoreline does contradict. The Lynn team afterwards were certainly angry young men. As one of them commented to me as he left the ground "We could not complain about our defeat at Brentford last year. We were well beaten. But today ... we should have won."
And that just about sums up the feelings of most Lynn supporters. Reading's play in midfield was crisper, but under pressure their defence was vulnerable and prone to panic. Their attack was fast but not over impressive in finishing.
Lynn put up a grand fight against all odds and the two goals they scored were the best of the match. They had more scoring chances in the first half than did Reading although not producing the form which they touched during October and early November.
Even some Reading fans were saying at the interval when the scores were level, that Lynn should have been ahead by a couple of goals.
The first half gave great hopes of Lynn pulling on what could have been one of the most commendable wins of the whole round.
But then, after Reading's suspiciously offside first goal, came another blow to Lynn early in the second half. The game had been resumed less than too minutes when a scramble developed in the Lynn penalty area. Thomas had punched a centre away; Brown had stopped with his knees a quick return shot and then there was a general commotion with the several players from either side jostling for possession and Thomas crawling among them to gather the ball.
Suddenly referee Mr, J. H, Busband, of London, blew his whistle and pointed to the penalty spot. He said afterwards the penalty was for hands. The decision looked a rather harsh one under the circumstances and the earnest appeals of Lynn players were to no avail.
This goal, so very nearly saved by Thomas, who thumped his fists on the ground after diving and touching the ball, was a bitter blow. But gallant Lynn fought back with even greater endeavour.
This goal was probably the turning point of the game. It set Lynn back almost before they had got started for the second half.
But it infused much more life into the game and the second half developed into a thrilling tussle, highlighted by a rush of three goals in the space of two minutes. Lynn began the match uncertainly and Thomas, back in the senior team after recent injury, had an unhappy opening spell. Twice he was beaten in the air by the speedy Wheeler but a well- timed dash from goal to smother the ball at Wheeler's feet seemed to settle him down and he went on to give a fine display.
Brown and Cleary soon distinguished themselves and each played splendidly throughout, Brown frequently halting McIlvenny and Cleary doing much magnificent work in the middle.
None worked harder than Neilson who at times had to help out skipper Mackey in trying to subdue the tricky McLuckie on the Reading left.
But Reading's promising work rarely came to much and soon Lynn were setting up their own attacks. Neat lobs over left back Reeves by Neilson and Baxter had the Reading defence reeling on a couple of occasions and following one of these Sewell drove hard for goal, Neilson being forced to tip the ball over.
A big cry of 'ooh' went up as the ball flashed over the bar and this effort signalled the beginning of many promising Lynn attacks. These attacks had Reading worried to such an extent that most of the team fell back to the defensive and clearances merely came out to the waiting Lynn defenders.
Dixon swung the ball low across the face of the goal from where it was scrambled away and in another all-out attack the ball was lobbed back and forth across the goalmouth three times before being cleared.
Luke had a good shot held by Meeson then a Baxter cross pass was turned away for a corner. In other raids Dixon was twice robbed on the point of shooting.
During this time Lynn could have deservedly been in the lead, but a Reading breakaway after 33 minutes produced the first goal, AYRE running on to a through pass to score easily, though there was a suspicion he was offside.
For a spell Reading looked really dangerous but Lynn held out and after 40 minutes equalised. Neilson found LUKE with a good forward pass and the Lynn sharpshooter beat Meeson with a magnificent low drive.
And so Lynn were back with a good chance. Then two minutes after halt time came the bitter penalty blow, full back Reeves' shot going in just inside the post after Thomas had made a splendid dive to his left,
Back Lynn went to the offensive but the attack still lacked the cohesion which brought them so many goals a few weeks back, Sewell and Locket were pretty well subdued and it was left to the other three to produce most danger. Luke and Dixon tried hard to find a way through, but met with some determined tackling.
At the other end Reading concentrated mainly on lightning breakaways through the middle or on the left.
Then came a free kick to Lynn which Neilson chipped into the penalty area. Dixon headed back to Sewell who volleyed in a shot which brought out the best in Meeson. A beautiful centre by Baxter, who frequently had the beating of Reeves, found Luke but the Lynn man's header went over the bar.
Try as they might Lynn could not get the all important equaliser and for a while it looked as though might be in serious trouble when Thomas in going to collect the ball for a goal kick collapsed. After attention, however, he was able to resume.
Within a minute he dashed out to stop with his foot a hard drive by Ayre who made one of his dashing breakaways.
But he was beaten in the 60th minute when WHEELER headed in following a left wing corner. The situation looked bad for Lynn now, but immediately from the restart they swept to the attack and DIXON cleverly beating two defenders as he veered into the middle scored with a low drive which went in off the foot of a post.
Hardly had the cheering of the Lynn contingent stopped than Reading regained their two-goal margin, AYRE shooting in from a right wing cross pass.
Still Lynn were full of fight and the Reading goal had some anxious moments before the end. Johnson moved up in support of the attack and with Lockey was responsible for two corners. Then in the dying moments Luke made a great run nearly half the length of the field and shot across the goal. Dixon, racing in, turned the hall narrowly wide, but he was given offside.
Lynn had indeed given Reading a hard fight and with a little kinder luck could well have been taking on the same opposition at the Walks tomorrow. They lost, but they were far from disgraced. Reading
: Meeson, Goodall, Reeves, Walker, Davies, Evans, McIlvenny, Wheeler, Ayre, Whitehouse. McLuckie.
: Thomas; Mackey, Brown; Neilson, Cleary, Johnson; Baxter; Luke, Dixon, Sewell, Lockey.